When is it worth observing the closest celestial object? Interestingly not when we see the whole illuminated Moon, that is, at full moon. The Moon undoubtedly shows its most spectacular face in a period of a quarter (with illumination of about 20-80%). Along the sharp angle of incidence of sunlight, the level difference of the surface forms is more visible along the terminator - that is, the imaginary boundary separating the night from the day. Craters, mountains and other interesting shapes make this part of the Moon spatial due to the long shadows.
On the 1st of April, 2017, on a somewhat cool spring night, Moon in the growing phase was captured from Tápióbicske, Pest County. Several times, my work made it difficult by the smoke coming from the chimney of the neighboring house, but finally I managed to find a place where I could start working with my reflector.
The photograph was not made with a single exposure. The Nikon D3300 camera, which is connected to the 150/750 mm Newtonian reflector with eyepiece-projection, took video recordings. The Moon didn't fit into the field of view, so I had to divide it into five sections, and then I made one or two minutes videos of each of these areas. I converted the videos into an astronomical image processing program, and then I put the five photos together as if they were taking a panoramic picture.
With this method, I got a much more detailed and sharp picture than I missed making videos. Using the videos in this case, I filtered out the effect of the atmospheric motion "dummy" in such a way that the image processing software selected only the sharpest frames from the video and averaged them into a single image.
The photograph was selected at the Best Newcomers category in the 2017 Astronomy Photographer of the Year international astronomical competition in London, which has been held for many years by Royal Observatory Greenwich. This category was specifically intended for those who started astrophotography in the year before the competition. Among other things, I was personally lucky to participate in the BBC-sponsored competition awards on September 14, 2017.
The photo was shown at an interactive exhibition until the summer of 2018 in the famous planetary observatory in London.
R.A. 04 h 57 m 56 s Dec. +17° 04′ 25″
3 476 km
01/04/2017 19:00 UT
Tápióbicske, Pest, Hungary
Nikon D3300 (unmodified)
Sky-Watcher 150/750 mm Newtonian reflector
Sky-Watcher NEQ-5 Pro GoTo
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3x (with eyepiece projection)
Focal ratio, length:
f/15, 2250 mm
5 x 6000 frame
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